Sacked PMC Bank MD Joy Thomas held in custody, HDIL promoters' private jet, jewellery attached
07 October 2019
A local court in Mumbai on Saturday sent Joy Thomas, the suspended managing director of Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank, to police custody till 17 October even as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached a private jet and jewellery worth Rs60 crore of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) chairman Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan in this connection.
Thomas was arrested on Saturday after the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police registered a case against senior officials of HDIL and PMC Bank in connection with the fraud estimated to be of over Rs4,355 crore.
Thomas, who on 28 September admitted that the bank did not report the financial exposure to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for over six years, has been on the run after the case was registered
The Enforcement Directorate, meanwhile, claimed that it has attached a private jet and jewellery worth Rs60 crore of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) Chairman Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan.
The agency also claimed that it is in touch with authorities in the Maldives to attach Wadhwan`s yacht which is anchored there.
ED has also frozen the bank accounts of Waryam Singh, former Chairman of Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, including deposits/fixed deposits of around Rs 10 crore. The agency also raided the premises of Waryam Singh and former PMC Bank Managing Director Joy Thomas.
The ED had carried out raids at six places in Mumbai, including the head office of HDIL in Bandra (East) and the residence of Rakesh Wadhawan which is known as Wadhawan House in Bandra (West).
Interestingly, the ED has found that HDIL was one of the sponsors of Kolkata Knight Riders, the IPL team co-owned by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.
HDIL was also the organiser of a Mumbai fashion event - HDIL Couture Week India, which was later shelved. HDIL also had a stake in Adhikari Brothers` firms and Hindi news channel Live India.
The ED has said that it is also looking into the roles of seven directors of HDIL, including Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan. Both were arrested on Thursday by the Mumbai Police after they were found not cooperating with the sleuths.
ED is also looking for the details of 18 other companies linked to HDIL. Sources said the companies are Wadhawan Livestock Private Limited, Privilege Industries Limited, UM Architechtures, and Contractors Limited, Guruashish Construction Private Limited, Heritage Housing Development (India ) Private Limited, HR Infracity Private Limited, Libra Hotels Private Limited, Privilege Airways private Limited and ANC Holdings & Investment Private Limited.
The other connected companies are Privilege Power and Infrastructure Private Limited, HC Infracity Private Limited, Dreams The Mall Company Limited, The Mall Malad Management Company Limited, Dewan Realtors Private Limited, Libra Realtors Private Limited, HDIL Harmony Mall Company Limited and Privilege Health Care Services Private Limited.
The ED has started the probe after taking cognizance of the FIR filed into the matter by Mumbai Police`s Economic Offences Wing (EOW).
It is alleged that HDIL, which is facing bankruptcy proceedings, and its group companies had taken huge loans from the PMC Bank. As many as 21,049 fictitious bank accounts were allegedly created to hide the loans, which were disbursed in violation of RBI norms.
It has also been alleged that HDIL accounted for nearly 73 per cent of the bank`s total loans. Out of the Rs4,355 crore loans under the scanner, around Rs2,146 crore were transferred to accounts held by the Wadhawans. An account belonging to the Wadhawans had a balance of Rs2,009 crore on 31 August 2019, according to the FIR.
During the probe by the Reserve Bank of India, it has been found that directors of PMC Bank had replaced 44 suspicious loan accounts with 20,149 fictitious bank accounts whose individual balances were low.
The 44 borrower accounts allegedly linked to HDIL were masked by tampering with bank software. The PMC Bank`s former managing director Joy Thomas was behind the masking of the borrowers` accounts.